Tankless water heaters, also referred to as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, give a household hot water only as needed. They do not produce standby energy losses that come with traditional storage water heaters, which saves homeowners money. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you may be wondering if a tankless version is right for you.
How They Operate
Tankless water heaters will heat water on a direct basis without having to use a storage tank. When switching on the hot water tap, cold water travels through a pipe and then into the unit. Once there, either an electric element or gas burner heats the water. As a result, this type of water heater delivers a constant supply of hot water throughout your home. No need to wait a half hour in between showers or loads of wash to get the hot water back again.
That said, the output of a tankless water heater will limit the flow rate. They provide hot water at a rate of between two and five gallons per minute. Electric tankless water heaters produce lower flow rates than gas-fired ones. But even the largest, gas-fired heater just can’t supply enough hot water for multiple or simultaneous uses within large households.
For example, if you were to take a shower and run the dishwasher at the same time, you could be stretching your tankless water heater to its limit. To avoid this, it’s possible to put in two or more tankless models, connected to provide simultaneous hot water demands. Additionally, you could install separate tankless water heaters to service the major appliances in your home, such as the dishwasher and clothes washer.
Energy efficiency is the main benefit but exactly how efficient it is will depend on how big your household is. If your home uses 41 gallons or less of hot water every day, demand water heaters are between 23 and 34 percent more energy efficient than standard storage tank water heaters, according to Energy.gov. If your household uses 86 gallons of water per day, they are still efficient but that number goes down to between eight and 14 percent. You can get the greatest energy savings if you were to install a tankless heater at each hot water outlet, leading to 27 to 50 percent efficiency.
You will spend more initially on a tankless water heater than you will on a storage water heater, but your tankless will last longer and feature lower operating and energy costs. This will eventually offset the high purchase price. You can expect your tankless water heater to last more than 20 years. Their parts are also easily replaceable, which extends their life by several more years. Storage water heaters, on the other hand, only last between 10 and 15 years.
Before purchasing a demand water heater, you will have to consider the following:
- Fuel type and availability
- Energy efficiency
Proper installation and maintenance of your tankless water heater are imperative. Before selecting a contractor, be sure to get cost estimates in writing, ask for references, and check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau.
Contact Tidal Plumbing NYC
To make an appointment for tankless water heater installation, contact us at 718-505-9300.